A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
“Sticking with the Democrats only encourages them in their loyalty to their corporate masters.”
Sixty percent of the American people – three out of every five adults — favor some form of single payer health care. They are a clear majority, but they have no major political party to represent them. More than 80 percent of the Democrats — four out of very five – support a Medicare-for-all, single payer health care system, but their party refuses to represent them on this life and death issue. The best thing that the national majority and the Democratic super-majority can do, for the sake of everyone’s health and the future of democracy, is to leave the Democratic Party.
Sixty four members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on to Congressman John Conyers’ Medicare-for-all bill. But, none of them are actively pushing the legislation. Instead, they’re trying to resurrect the ghost of Obamacare — just like Bernie Sanders is doing.
Clearly, the people that control the Democratic Party would rather lose elections than fight for single payer health care. So, cut them loose, and let them lose. As long as the debate over health care is monopolized by Democrats and Republicans, there will never be a decent, humane and affordable health delivery system in the United States.
Not one Democratic Senator is committed to single payer. That includes Bernie Sanders, who has not submitted a bill this year – and, if you don’t have a bill, then you’re not serious about single payer health care. Sanders talked up a storm about single payer during the primary campaign, but then essentially shut up after endorsing Hillary Clinton, the candidate who said that single payer would “never, never” happen. That wasn’t a prediction; it was a promise by Clinton that she would do her utmost to prevent health care from becoming a right in the United States.
President Obama dealt a huge blow to single payer health care, when he pulled a bait and switch on his supporters, back in 2009. Obama had campaigned on a promise to provide, what he called, “universal” health care, which virtually everyone took to mean single payer. Instead, Obama invited private drug and insurance corporations to write his Affordable Care Act — which has now been largely dismantled by the Republicans, who are at least honest about opposing health care for all Americans, on principle.
64 Co-Signers – But Nobody’s Pushing Single Payer
The GOP’s plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would result in 52 million people without health insurance within the next decade, compared to the 28 million that would have remained uninsured under Obamacare. Fourteen million people would be cut from Medicaid, which would lose 25 percent of its budget. And, federal health care subsidies would be reversed, with young people getting big tax credits to encourage them to buy insurance, and older people paying far higher premiums out of their pockets.
Obamacare was bad, Trumpcare is worse, and there is nothing to prevent a national health care disaster except passage of single payer health care. It is the only solution. Sixty four members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on to Congressman John Conyers’ Medicare-for-all bill. But, none of them are actively pushing the legislation. Instead, they’re trying to resurrect the ghost of Obamacare — just like Bernie Sanders is doing. Sticking with the Democrats only encourages them in their loyalty to their corporate masters. What’s needed, is for single supporters to leave the party and let their voices be heard in the streets. Single payer supporters already comprise huge majorities. The Democrats are nothing but the ball-and-chain that paralyzes people’s movements.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
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